Born-again protoplanetary disk around Mira B

M. J. Ireland*, J. D. Monnier, P. G. Tuthill, R. W. Cohen, J. M. De Buizer, C. Packham, D. Ciardi, T. Hayward, J. P. Lloyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The Mira AB system is a nearby (∼ 107 pc) example of a wind accreting binary star system. In this class of system, the wind from a mass-losing red giant star (Mira A) is accreted onto a companion (Mira B), as indicated by an accretion shock signature in spectra at ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths. Using novel imaging techniques, we report the detection of emission at mid-infrared wavelengths between 9.7 and 18.3 μm from the vicinity of Mira B but with a peak at a radial position about 10 AU closer to the primary Mira A. We interpret the mid-infrared emission as the edge of an optically-thick accretion disk heated by Mira A. The discovery of this new class of accretion disk fed by M-giant mass loss implies a potential population of young planetary systems in white dwarf binaries, which has been little explored despite being relatively common in the solar neighborhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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